MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – College of Charleston used back-to-back-to-back home runs in the first inning to open a four-run lead en route to a 14-1 non-conference victory over visiting Youngstown State Friday evening at Patriots Point. The #19-ranked Cougars improve to 5-0 on the season and keep Youngstown State winless on the year at 0-4. The two teams meet again tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 p.m.
With two outs in the opening inning, junior RF Marty Gantt (North Augusta, S.C.) drew a full-count walk and scored on the first of three consecutive round-trippers by the Cougars, this one off the bat of redshirt-junior 3B Matt Leeds (Boca Raton, Fla.). Fellow redshirt-junior 1B Jose Rodriguez (Hialeah, Fla.) and redshirt-freshman LF Daniel Aldrich (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) followed suit, with both clearing the right-field fence.
The Cougars added three more runs in the sixth, two coming on a double to right by Aldrich and a solo run on a sacrifice fly to center by senior 2B Jesse Mesa (Mirimar, Fla.) that scored Aldrich from third.
Charleston plated seven runs in the seventh, sending 10 batters to the plate, and giving the Cougars a 14-0 advantage. Gantt drew a leadoff walk and Leeds was hit by a pitch on a full count. Both Gantt and Leeds advanced on a passed ball before Rodriguez ripped a double down the left-field line to clear the bases. Rodriguez moved to third on a deep fly out to right by Aldrich and scored on a double to left center by Mesa. Freshman PH Waymon Hurd (Tallahassee, Fla.) walked on five pitches and advanced to third on a RBI single by senior CF Cole Rakar (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.), that plated Mesa. Sophomore PH Dre Watts (Laurens, S.C.) brought home Hurd and Rakar with a two-run double to center to give the Cougars a 13-0 lead. Watts would close out the scoring by Charleston, scoring on a throwing error by the Youngstown third baseman.
The Penguins broke the Cougars’ shutout bid in the eighth as Drew Dosch scored on a RBI single to left center by Jonathan Crist after singling up the middle to lead off the inning.
Junior RHP David Peterson (Walnut Creek, Calif.) tossed six innings of one-hit ball for the win. Peterson struck out three and walked two, allowing just a single in the fourth inning. Rodriguez and Aldrich each had three RBIs on the evening, while Gantt and Leeds scored three times apiece.
The Cougars and Youngstown State meet for a game two of the series Saturday, Feb. 26 at Patriots Point. First pitch is set for 1:00 p.m.